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This entry discusses the challenges in defining the term date rape and includes a history of the term, current prevalence estimates, and the influence of rape myths on victim blaming and reporting of date rape.

Both colloquially and in research, the term date rape is used to label a range of phenomena. Indeed, both the terms date and rape are defined in varying ways. In legal and research definitions, rape is often defined as nonconsensual sexual intercourse that is achieved through physical force or incapacitation, such as from drugs or alcohol. Thus, one frequently used definition of “date rape” is nonconsensual sex perpetrated by someone with whom an individual is in a dating relationship (i.e., a sexual and/or romantic relationship). Another common definition is nonconsensual sex ...

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